Strange IndiaStrange India

Just a day after charging Apple with violating the Digital Markets Act, the EU is continuing its crusade against big tech. Now, Microsoft also faces a potential multi-billion dollar fine, although for reasons unrelated to the DMA.

Remember when the United States sued Microsoft for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows? It was a bit more complicated than that, but what’s old is new again, because the EU is charging Microsoft for breaking antitrust rules by bundling Team with its Office subscriptions.

“We are concerned that Microsoft may be giving its own communication product Teams an undue advantage over competitors, by tying it to its popular productivity suites for businesses,” EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who heads up competition policy in Europe, said in a statement today.

Microsoft actually unbundled Teams from Office in Europe last year in an effort to comply with the EU’s policy, following a statement from the EU that it would be investigating the company. Earlier this year, the company also said it will be making the same changes globally, but according to the EU’s charges, these moves haven’t been enough.

The EU’s public-facing statement wasn’t entirely clear on what would be enough, although because existing Office users can continue to renew old bundles that already had Teams included, it’s possible the Commission concluded that competition is still being threatened.

Microsoft intends to cooperate with the EU and told the Financial Times that it’s working on solutions, with President Brad Smith saying, “Having unbundled Teams and taken initial interoperability steps, we appreciate the additional clarity provided today and will work to find solutions to address the Commission’s remaining concerns.”

The EU began its investigation into Microsoft following a complaint from Slack, which runs its own popular remote work suite. If Microsoft is found guilty, it could face a fine of up to 10% of its annual global turnover. Based on numbers from last year, this would amount to about $21.1 billion.

Microsoft did not immediately reply to Lifehacker’s request for comment.

Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *